Technical Research on ISS Russian Segment

SPQR Experiment

Experiment SPQR forms part of the scientific research program performed by Italian Astronaut Roberto Vittori (ESA) on the ISS in the frame of ENEIDE ISM Project. The European Space Agency is a customer of the preparation and implementation of the research program.


Testing of the ISS imaging system using special ground-based optics and image processing aids to detect possible damages on the external surface of the Station.


Determination of a reference point of the ISS orbit using cube cone reflector and ground station laser with simultaneous reception of ISS image on the ground using a telescope.

Used Science Hardware:

  • SPQR unit will be mounted on the window inside the ISS RS Service Module. SPQR unit is a retroreflector for a laser radiation of an optical range coming through the window. SPQR Unit consists of a glass cone reflector with a bracket.
  • SPQR Window Shield;
  • SPQR Safety Bag;
  • SPQR memory card for photos.

During the experiment at the time coordinated with the MCC-M a laser beam will be pointed from the ground to the ISS. On hitting upon the cube cone reflector the laser beam is directed back to the ground and processed by the receiving station.

Support Facilities:

  • Camera Nikon D1X.

Experiment Results:

  • Laser reflected signals received on the ground.
  • Return of the memory cards with photos of the hardware mounting on the window to the ground.

ISS Crew